For Investors, TradingView is as Addictive as Facebook

What inspires someone to uproot a company and move halfway around the world? For the trio of Russian co-founders behind stock charting site TradingView, the answer was opportunity.

Having already built a successful business that provided charting tools for American investors, MultiChartsStan Bokov and his teammates wanted to create a platform that had a lower financial barrier to entry and additional features. Thus, TradingView was born. They created a system that offered superior charting tools combined with the ability to have conversations right in the web app. Bokov thinks TradingView is the answer to existing charting tools, which either cost $1,500 and up, or are limited in scope, like Yahoo! Finance.

“What always bugged us is that you can’t talk to anybody,” Bokov, now TradingView’s CEO, says. “You still have to call a trading firm or somebody who understands it so they can explain it to you.”

Having solved that problem with new technology, the TradingView team wanted to light a fire of growth, not wait for a slow-burn success as they had with MultiCharts. While CEO Dennis Globa was already living in Columbus, Ohio, the rest of the team was back in Russia, looking for a way to get in front of the right American markets. That’s when they were accepted to TechStars Chicago.

Read more about this innovative technology company at Built In Chicago.

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2 Marketers on How Google+ Comments Will Transform YouTube

For years, YouTube has attracted two types of people: those who make great content, and those who comment. It’s no secret what the platform has done for individual content creators — especially since Google bought the company in 2006 — but YouTube is also a proven marketing channel for brands as well. Alongside the massive reach this medium offers is the problem of anonymous commenters, often called “trolls,” who seemingly prowl the web searching for opportunities to leave rude messages.

In a move that many believe is intended to curtail such troll activity, traditional YouTube comments will be replaced by Google+ comments in the future. As yet, it is unclear when the full rollout will take place, but we have a pretty good idea of how it will look. Unlike today, those wishing to comment will be required to log in through Google+ first, effectively putting an end to anonymous messages. Today, comments left on Google+ shares of YouTube content appear as comments below the videos themselves. This is perhaps one of the clearest current examples of Google+ integration into YouTube — and it is sure to continue.

To learn more about the opportunities presented by a deeper connection between YouTube and Google+, we chatted with some industry experts. Patrick Coombe is the CEO of Elite Strategies, an Internet marketing and design services firm, while Mark Traphagen serves as the Director of Digital Outreach for web marketing solutions company Virante. They shared some ways that brands can best take advantage of the coming changes.

Read the rest of the article at Sprout Insights and learn more about the marketing opportunity presented by a deeper YouTube-Google+ integration.

How Social Media Strategy Influences Political Campaigns

If there is anything recent elections have proven, it’s that reaching out to voters online is not only important, it’s essential. The first notable use of social media to rally the voting community was during the 2008 Presidential election, when the Obama campaign took to the web to draw out the young vote. According to research by the Pew Foundation, 83 percent of 18-24 year-olds had social networking accounts in 2008, and two-thirds of those used those sites for political activity at that time.

Since then, the number of individuals using social media has swelled, and growing with it is the amount of people who use such venues to publicize their political views. From tweets and Facebook updates to YouTube videos and petitions, social media has become a power tool not only for official campaign teams but also for supporters.

To better understand how political campaigns are affected by social media, we spoke to some key players with experience in this realm. Sherri Greenberg is the Director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research produced a 2012 study examining the influence of social media on Congressional campaigns.

David Cascino is the founder of “Thunderclap”, a platform that allows social media users to recruit followers to join campaigns — to amplify a single message to each of their followers at once. Finally, we also heard from former Tampa Bay, Florida, City Councilman and State Representative Rick Kriseman. Here’s what they had to say.

Read on at Sprout Social Insights.

The New Invention That’s Making Doctors And Nurses Clean Up Their Act

It’s gospel in the startup community that opportunity is proportionate to pain. The worse a problem, the thinking goes, the bigger the market to solve it.

For the past two years, Northwestern grads Mert Iseri, 25, and Yuri Malina, 23, have trained their sights on one of health care’s biggest pain points: clean hands.

“Hospitals currently do manual observation, so nurses will get a pen and paper and sit in a corner of the room,” Iseri says. “It’s not accurate. It’s terrible.”

Enter SwipeSense, an electronic way to track whether hands are getting washed — and infections are getting prevented.

Learn more about SwipeSense’s business and the challenges it faces here, at Chicago Grid.

An Inside Look at Nissan’s Vine and Instagram Video TV Commercial

By now, brands’ use of micro-video apps Vine and Instagram video is well-documented. Tapping into networks full of smartphone users hungry for visual content has given brands yet another way to reach and interact with their customers. Yet even as companies scramble to create mini-films to delight and entertain their audiences, who those clips reach is typically limited to mobile device users.

Despite the rise of new media, traditional advertising platforms maintain their vast reach and offer something else Vine and Instagram video don’t: frequency. Whereas, in advertising terms, reach refers to the number of people who see an ad, frequency denotes how many times each individual is exposed to it. For advertisers, both metrics are important, and achieving balance between them is a key goal. While Vine and Instagram are natural environments for such content, each video is likely to be seen only once by a brand’s followers.

In an effort to reach target consumers as well as the rest of America, Nissan USA is running a first-of-its-kind contest that will feature fans’ Vines and Instagram videos in an upcoming 30-second TV spot. Fans of the Nissan Versa Note can visit YourDoorToMore.com to grab printable elements that must be included in their Vine or Instagram video entries. The videos should focus on the entrants’ passions, include the Versa Note printable elements, and be tagged #VersaVid. Six people will win $1,000 Amazon.com gift cards, while three Grand Prize winners’ videos will also be chosen by the marketing team and incorporated into the TV commercial.

Nissan’s Director of Interactive and Social Media Marketing, Erich Marx, is one of the drivers of this campaign. We recently spoke with him to discuss the strategy and logistics behind the commercial.

Read the rest of the article here.

How 2 Top Brands Use Instagram Video for Engagement

When Instagram video burst on the scene last month, people were quick to try the new feature. In fact, some reports indicated users uploaded five million “InstaVideos” in the first 24 hours after its debut. It’s no surprise, then, that many brands are trying to get in on the action as well.

The video feature works similarly to photo capture for Instagram users. Once you open the app, you click the camera button and then the video icon. From there, simply press and hold the red camera button to record. Lift your finger, and the recording stops. The recording picks up sound, lasts 15 seconds, and can be overlaid with a filter before publishing. Once the video goes live, it plays on loop in the user’s stream.

Simply Measured reports that 67% of the world’s leading brands maintain Instagram accounts, making it all the easier for many of them to start using the video feature. While some of these brands are merely dabbling, others have begun to make their marks in the moving pictures realm. One of these is Jeni’s Ice Creams, a brand whose social media confections are more than icy treats. Another leader in the space is Ford Motor Company, whose enthusiastic followers love the behind-the-scenes look at their favorite automobiles.

We chatted with the social media managers of both these companies to find out how they use Instagram video to engage their audiences.

Read the rest over at Sprout Social Insights.

Why Movie Theater Leaders NCM Media Gave Twitter Amplify a Shot

Brands now have a new way to approach video advertising on Twitter, thanks to a new product called Amplify that was launched on May 23. Between hashtags, live-tweeting, and interacting with actors, Twitter has become a breeding ground for conversations about television and movies. In fact, social TV analytics firm Bluefin Labs reports that 95% of real-time conversation about TV happens on Twitter.

Having made substantial headway in the second-screen battle with fans, Twitter is now aiming to woo advertisers with Amplify. Using this product, sponsored tweets will feature video content preceded by short clips from various advertisers.

To start, Twitter tested Amplify with sports content through its partnership with ESPN. An early example of this sort of advertising was an instant replay clip of a Roy Hibbert block, tweeted by@NBA. Another example — a five-second promo for the Will Smith movie “After Earth” — led into a 36-second video and included a follow button for the movie’s Twitter account.

Media companies and publishers are well-suited to this kind of advertising due to the nature of their content. Indeed, early collaborations with BBC AmericaFOXFuse and The Weather Channelexemplified this. Today, Twitter’s list of Amplify partners numbers almost 20, including NCM Media Networks, with its handle @NCMNews.

We spoke with Cliff Marks, president of sales and marketing at NCM to learn more about why his company took an early chance with Twitter Amplify.

To get Marks’ insight and read the rest of this article click here.

How To Learn Everything About Design Without Going To College

In less time than it takes to finish a semester in college, a new school says it can teach all you need to know about digital design.

Students at The Designation pay $3,000 to attend three-hour classes twice a week for nine weeks to learn the philosophy and fundamentals of Web and graphic design, including HTML and CSS, wireframing and design theory. Kevin Yun teaches development, veteran GrubHub designer Zeke Franco covers user experience design, and Reppio creative director JJ Lee handles branding and Adobe training.

The Designation’s first — and so far only — session, now underway, was a profitable one, says founder Yun. Thirteen students’ tuition covers rent at Loop digital agency Manifest Digital, where classes are held, as well as instructor compensation, setup and marketing costs.

Yun is a self-taught designer and senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he’s somewhat reluctantly studying finance. For Yun, running The Designation is more than a summer job. He describes his commitment as “full time at night” as he juggles designing for two other startups, including Fitsby, an exercise app.

Yun sees The Designation’s curriculum as superior training for career-changers or recent graduates. “There’s nobody else really teaching digital design classes in Chicago at the moment,” he says.

Click here to read the rest of the story at Grid!

How Two Top Marketers Leverage Twitter #Music

On April 18, Twitter launched a new app called #Music, a standalone discovery engine that analyzes all the music data shared across the network every day. Feeding off users’ tweets and engagement, #Music offers charts based on buzz, along with profiles of up-and-coming artists and musicians whom users follow on Twitter.

Celebrities and musicians such as Ryan Seacrest, Ne-Yo and Blake Shelton were among those who got pre-launch access to the app, and they were effusive with their support on Twitter. The anticipation their support built contributed to the app’s debut at number five on the App Store chart; it even hit the top spot on the music apps list.

Since then, however, growth has slowed. Possible reasons for the decline in downloads could be that the app is only available on the web or iOS — but this is sure to change soon. Rdio or Spotify accounts are also needed to listen to full tracks, which could limit casual users experimenting with the #Music app. However, as you’ll see, continued support from the music industry and expansion to other mobile platforms makes #Music worth your time — and opens the door to smart marketers.

We chatted with Alyssa McClusky of DreamLocal, an internet marketing agency, and Joseph Havey, an account manager at Shelten Media, LLC, to get their thoughts on the marketing opportunities that Twitter #Music presents.

Read on to find out what some of those opportunities are by clicking here.

GM’s Michael Savoni on Why You Need a Customer Service Twitter Handle

Communities have changed a lot in the past few years, having manifested online in ways no one could have previously imagined. Still, some things have stayed the same. Social networks allow people to broadcast their views much the way they do in person, but often with much greater reach. Much of the time those opinions are positive, is your brand ready to respond when they’re less than complimentary?

As more companies are realizing, online conversations are varied and complex. While this fact is daunting, it also points to a great opportunity: To join conversations and provide value to customers who are asking for it, and even those who aren’t.

One of the best ways to join these conversations is to create a Twitter handle dedicated to serving customer needs that is separate from your business’ main account. Not only does this approach prevent dilution of brand messaging on your main account, it also gives you a way to provide meaningful content and tips from a valid source. It’s the same reason most companies have dedicated customer service numbers.

Read on for best practice from General Motors’ social media lead Michael Savoni by clicking here.